#22 Lauren Hill continues to inspire Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in November (AP photos)
#22 Lauren Hill continues to inspire
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The Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball team held its postseason banquet in a Cincinnati hospital room warmed by Lauren Hill's smile.

The 19-year-old freshman made it through a full season while raising more than $1.3 million for research into the type of brain tumor that will likely end her life. She's occasionally hospitalized for treatment now, but still holding to each day as tightly as she can and urging others to appreciate their time together.

"That's truly Lauren," coach Dan Benjamin said in an interview. "That's the message she's been saying forever. She's just thankful God gave her that opportunity and that role because she's the one that could handle it, and she's done it so gracefully.

College player fights tumor for moment on court

"Even at the banquet, she comes in her wheelchair and she's all smiles, and that's truly amazing. I don't know what her pain level is or how much suffering she's going through, but the girl smiles every time she gets a chance."

Hill, diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her senior year of high school, decided to go ahead and attend college and play for the Division III school. The NCAA granted permission to move up the school's opening game because of her worsening condition, and she made a layup for the first basket in a game at Xavier University's 10,000-seat arena.

Hill was able to play in four games early in the season, making five layups. As her condition worsened, she became an honorary coach, attending games when possible. She tires easily now and needs to use a wheelchair often.

The team had planned to have its annual end-of-the-season banquet on Feb. 22 a date that matches Hill's uniform number but the final game got pushed back because of the weather. Hill was getting treated at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

So the team decided to take the banquet to the hospital, using a meeting room. Instead of having a big meal and awards, the players got sandwiches and spent time together.

"We were going to get something to eat, show up, talk about the season and celebrate being with each other," Benjamin said.

The team wore special gray jerseys for the first game at Xavier's arena. The NCAA prohibits schools from giving gifts to players, so they bought them for $22, another way to support Hill's fundraising for cancer research. Hill signed each of the jerseys at the banquet.

Doctors didn't expect Hill to live this long with the tumor, which folds around parts of her brain.

"The first diagnosis was December, around Christmas time, which is why I went ahead and tried to get the first game moved up," Benjamin said. "But Lauren's not going to let it beat her, she's going to keep fighting.

"Everybody thought she'd be this small, tiny voice instead of this big lion roar. She's done a great job with that. And the money she's raised: Everybody thought she'd get some money, but $1.3 million is amazing."

In a recent interview with WKRC-TV, Hill said, "Life is precious. ... Every moment you get with someone is a moment that's blessed, really blessed."

Critical thinking challenge: How did Lauren continue to participate on her team, without playing?

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COMMENTS (42)
  • JM2001april
    3/04/2015 - 08:52 a.m.

    Lauren continues to help out with her team by being an honorary coach and attending the games as often as she can. But she has to attend the games in wheelchairs because she tires easily.

  • wadew-And
    3/04/2015 - 03:36 p.m.

    Lauren continued to participate on her team Because she is always fighting, but some people might not know how much pain she is really in.

  • Ashleypatt
    3/05/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    This young girl is very talented. To know that she is very hurt and fighting something she is still continue to play what she loves to do. You can tell that she doesn't let anything in her way and just continues on what she loves to do.

  • CharismaM
    3/05/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    I'm glad Lauren is still fighting and doing what she loves. Even though the tumor will eventually end her life, I hope she enjoys as much of it as she can. She is an inspiration to a lot of people.

  • nickb-Lam
    3/05/2015 - 03:49 p.m.

    This lady is very strong and deserves to be a survivor. She is a very good influence on the younger society because she never gives up. I hope she can make more money for cancer research.

  • odalysr-Lam
    3/05/2015 - 04:00 p.m.

    Lauren is a very strong person because she continued to play and did not give up on her team even though she was sick. I hope she raised enough money for brain tumor research.

  • jamieu-Lam
    3/05/2015 - 05:24 p.m.

    This is a heart-touching story. I'm very involved in sports, and I can't imagine having a brain tumor and being told I only have so long to live! What her team did for her was very generous and kind! Lauren is really lucky that she has a wonderful team. She's a fighter and hopefully she keeps fighting and staying strong.

  • mirandama-Lam
    3/05/2015 - 05:41 p.m.

    This article is very inspiring. Lauren Hill is going for what she wants and not giving up. Even though she has a brain tumor, she's still going big! For example, she got to play the first four games of the season and made five lay ups. The team also wore special grey jerseys for the first game at Xavier's arena for Hill's cancer research.

  • LundyG-3
    3/06/2015 - 12:56 a.m.

    The Mount St. Joseph's women's basketball had their team banquet in the hospital room of Lauren Hill. Lauren Hill is a 19 year old freshmen who played a full and raised more than $1.3 million to support research for a brain tumor that almost ended her life. She never misses a chance to smile and have a good time because she never knows when her life will end. Diagnosed as a senior in high school, Hill decided to attend college with a tumor in her brain that was inoperable. She was able to play in four of the pre-season games, but easily gets tired now is and has to use a wheel chair. The end-of-the-year banquet was held in a meeting room at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The team bought special jerseys in honor of Lauren, and they had her sign them at the banquet. Doctors don't expect Lauren to live long because the tumor wraps around parts of her brain. "Life is precious. ... Every moment you get with someone is a moment that's blessed, really blessed."

    Although this is a sad story, it is also inspirational. A girl who's life could end at any minute of the day still continues to do what she loves, while raising over $1 million to fund research. That is something! This story especially touches me because my cousin had brain cancer and they didn't think she would live. She's now 40 years old. Anyone who is diagnosed with a cancer or tumor should always keep fighting, even through the toughest parts, because you never know what is going to happen. Miracles are true. "Life is precious. ... Every moment you get with someone is a moment that's blessed, really blessed."

  • AlmodovarJoshua-DiB
    3/06/2015 - 11:22 a.m.

    This is a heart-touching story. I'm very involved in sports, and I can't imagine having a brain tumor and being told I only have so long to live! What her team did for her was very generous and kind! Lauren is really lucky that she has a wonderful team. She's a fighter and hopefully she keeps fighting and staying strong

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